Sent Off: Soccer Manager Sees Red

Penalty Kick, by flickr user Robert Francis, licensed by Creative Commons.

“That’s poor defending.”

While many people thought soccer in the United States would never make headlines, the coach of a US-based club has proved that thought false. Piotr Nowak, former manager of the MLS’s Philadelphia Union, had filed a lawsuit against the team for wrongful termination. Nowak claims he was never given a fair shake as manager and was unfairly let go from his position. Union CEO Nick Sakiewic begs to differ, and cited the team’s poor performance, lackluster direction, and a number of questionable management decisions as grounds for the firing. With the lawsuit being moved to a new judge, the case files have been released to the public. This has painted Nowak in a terrible light, as there are now details of certain coaching techniques and acts which violate MLS rules and regulations. Nowak had been seeking damages exceeding $115,000.

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“Gamer vs Cartoon” Lawsuit Gets Erased

More Arcade Games, by flickr user Sam Howzlt, licensed by Creative Commons.

Game Over, Please Insert Coin

Sometimes the court room can become a little cartoonish, but a recent case regarding a real man’s likeness to a TV show character has reached a new level. Billy Mitchell, the man famous for holding the world record for the video game Donkey Kong, recently filed a lawsuit against Cartoon Network. One of the network’s shows, aptly named “Regular Show”, featured a character who looks very similar to Mitchell, who appears as a floating head with video game skills. The character, named “GBF”, has long brown hair and big beard, very similar to the plaintiff. Mitchell came to fame in 2007 alongside the documentary “King of Kong”, which tells the story of how he broke the world record for Donkey Kong, and also details his prowess in other arcade games like Pac-Man. A judge in New Jersey recently decided that the lawsuit itself was without merit, and decided to pull the plug.

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Uber and Lyft are Driving People Crazy

Volkswagen CC TDi 2012 - Driver's Seat by flickr User Miles Continental, Licensed by Creative Commons

Speeding to the courtroom

While many people love the convenience of having a car appear at your doorstep at the tap of a button, it appears that those days may be numbered. The popular transportation services Uber and Lyft are headed to the courtroom, thanks to unhappy drivers. The main issue seems to center around a debate on whether or not the drivers of these services are employees or simply independent contractors. We’ve talked in the past about Uber’s problems with the law, however this series of lawsuits may force the companies to alter their business model. The lawsuits were filed in the San Francisco Federal Court and are only relevant to California-based drivers, although the results of each class-action will be closely monitored by drivers across the United States. Read more

Trees Falling in Michigan, Still Making Sounds

Looking up through the trees, by flickr user Chris Connolly, licensed by Creative Commons

Blood on the leaves?

There is an old philosophical argument that goes as follows: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? A recent lawsuit in Michigan is finally providing an answer: Yes. Residents of Bloomfield Hills, MI have taken up a class-action against tree removal by the power company DTE Energy. Reports say they hired a tree-trimming company to take trees down in a short period of time without giving notice to the community. The power company was worried about the trees interfering with cables they had been running in the area, and had petitioned to remove them. Clearly upset by the secretive manner in which DTE went about this deforestation, the people living in Bloomfield Hills are now seeking $54 million in restitution. Read more

Tourism Lawsuit Leaves Town Misguided

Lafayette Square, Savannah, GA by flickr user Chris Yates, licensed by Creative Commons

Hip to be square

Tour guides in vacation destinations may have to begin passing certifications to entertain tourists. One group in Savannah GA, headed by a woman named Michelle Freenor, has filed a lawsuit against the city itself over the certain registration laws. Michelle and 3 others (including her husband) have led walking tours around the historic town for years, before the word spread of a new ordinance them to become “certified tour guides”, passing medical and academic tests. The city stands firm behind the idea that registration can only help, not hinder the tourism industry in Savannah. The group is backed by non-profit law firm, with Freenor now at the head of a movement that has hit many popular destinations for tourists, including New York City, Washington D.C., and New Orleans. Read more